OneOak tree planting timelapse

posted on June 28, 2011

We have published a timelapse film of the tree planting activities undertaken earlier this year in our OneOak project.  The pictures were taken over four months in the Blenheim woodland and start with the unveiling of the OneOak sculpture plus the first trees being planted on January 31st.  Also captured are the visits by 250 school children during February and March when every child planted an oak tree.

The new forest of 250 OneOak trees are protected by tree shelters and by April were surrounded by a carpet of bluebells.

Watch the film

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Spider bench from the OneOak tree

posted on April 12, 2011
OneOak Spider Bench by Ian Smith

OneOak Spider Bench by Ian Smith. In the foreground is the model, with students constructing the actual bench behind. Photo OCVC.

Students from Rycotewood Furniture Centre at Oxford & Cherwell Valley College have been working with our partner schools to design benches for their school grounds, to be made from the timber of the OneOak tree.

Furniture Design Student Ian Smith has been working with Stonesfield Primary School.  Here is his story.

The OneOak seating project was a great chance for me to involve children in the design of outdoor seating for their own school. Working with the children at Stonesfield school was an exciting opportunity for me as a designer. I was keen from the start to try to involve the children’s ideas without leading them too strongly in any set direction. I also wanted to produce a design with impact and that would make a statement so the children would feel that the tree had been transformed personally for them into something unique.

It quickly became apparent that children viewed seating in a very different way to adults. We have set standards and requirements that must be met, however, the children’s ideas were quite different. They wanted excitement and adventure, this was further reflected in the ideas and designs the children produced.

Following this lead the final design followed a spider theme that the children had included in some of their design work. The final piece reflects a spider, has a dynamic feel of movement and allows seating at different heights, hopefully a reflection of the children’s ideas and wants.

This project showed me that involving the children created a completely different approach to my usual work, the children added ideas and concepts without the restrictions of the standards we all adhere to. This was a valuable lesson in designing with an open mind.

Ian Smith, Furniture Design Student 2010/2011, RYCOTEWOOD FURNITURE CENTRE.
Artist in Residence 2011/2012

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OneOak tree planting shanties

posted on January 11, 2011

Musician Sarah Morgan visited Willowcroft Community School, one of our OneOak partner schools, earlier this week to practice and record two tree planting songs.  The songs will be performed by 250 children from all our five partners schools when every child returns to the OneOak woodland to plant an oak seedling in early February.

The first song is performed rythmically as a call and response:

Tree planting song (Words © Sarah Morgan 2007 / Tune trad.)

Going to take my spade, dig a hole in the ground  (x3)
Going to plant a tree before the spring comes round

That tree will grow so tall and high (x3)
Roots in the earth, leaves in the sky.

And the birds will fly from the East and the West (x3)
Going to choose my tree to build their nest.

From the acorn to the oak, from the seed to the tree (x3)
We’re planting a forest for you and me.

Going to take my spade, dig a hole in the ground  (x3)
Going to plant a tree before the spring comes round

The second is adapted from a Kipling verse to suit the timing of our activities:

Oak and Ash and Thorn (adapted from Kipling/Bellamy)

Oak and Ash and Thorn good sirs
All on a January morn
Surely we sing of no little thing
In Oak and Ash and Thorn

You can listen to both songs in the music box on our OneOak homepage

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School children designing furniture

posted on November 17, 2010

Children from all our OneOak partner schools have completed their next design workshop with students from Rycotewood Furniture Centre.

Our CEO Gabriel Hemery joined with the students on a recent visit to three classes at Wood Farm Primary School where the children started developing 3D models.  They came up with some great ideas.

The children will be visiting Rycotewood Furniture Centre at Oxford & Cherwell Valley College early in 2011, when they will see the final designs developed by the students and be able to vote on their favourite for their school.  Each school will have an item of outdoor furniture made for their school grounds, from wood sourced from the OneOak tree.

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Furniture students start working with OneOak schools

posted on October 14, 2010

Students from Rycotewood Furniture Centre, part of Oxford & Cherwell College, have started working with our five OneOak partner schools.

Over the next few months they will be working closely with the same children who had watched the OneOak tree being felled last January, to design and build outdoor furniture for each school, made from the timber of the OneOak tree.

This week six of the students visited Wood Farm primary school at Headington to meet the children and to start work on the creative side of the project.  The next visit in about four weeks time will focus on designing the outdoor furniture, followed by a visit to the college by the children to see the workshops and the work in progress.

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Bladon children write tree poems

posted on June 30, 2010

Children from Bladon CofE Primary School visited the OneOak site last week – or as some children called it the ‘NoOak’ site!  They explored the star-shaped tree stump and marvelled at how different the woodland looked compared to when they last visited:  sun instead of snow, brackens and ferns rather than mud, and a large hole in the sky where the OneOak’s giant canopy once shaded the woodland floor.

The children have also been busy writing poems inspired by the project.  Here is one from Holly Topping, age 9.

Where Are You?

Where are you? Asked the blackbird
Looking for a place to nest.
I’ve been cut down by the forester.

Where are you? Asked the grey squirrel
Hunting for acorns to eat.
I’ve been lifted on a truck and been carried away.

Where are you? buzzed the bee
Trying to find some where to make a hive.
I’m drying out at the sawmill.

Where are you? asked the woodpecker
Pecking in the bark looking for bugs.
I’m being carved into chairs.

Where are you? Tweeted the blue tits
Peering around for a place to land.
I’m being made into beams for houses.

Where are you? Shouted the children
Planting lots of acorns.
I’m being made into something for you.

By Holly

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Stonesfield school at the sawmill

posted on April 28, 2010

What an adventure we are having following the life of OneOak! From meeting the tree in the autumn, to watching it fall with a mighty crash on a snowy winter’s day, we are enjoying every minute of it!

Our latest instalment in the OneOak story came with a visit to the Deep In Wood sawmill on Wednesday 28th April 2010. We were really intrigued to see what a sawmill would look like and drew pictures to show our predictions before we left. When we arrived, James greeted us and took us straight to see the amazing machinery that was used to cut OneOak. We really loved seeing how the cabin moved backwards and forwards and playing with the green light!

“I really liked the green laser that I put my hand under to pretend that the saw was going to cut it. Also I liked the machine that cut it, it sounded like the biggest giant breathing!

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Bladon Primary OneOak watercolour workshop

posted on March 17, 2010

Watercolour artist Rebecca Hind held a workshop with Years 3 and 4 at Bladon Primary School.  She showed the children the OneOak paintings that she has been working on over the last six months, and inspired them to produce their own under expert tuition.

Sam I know how to use watercolour paint now – I liked it.

Jacob, Louis and Jake M We learned to do watercolour paintings of trees in the moonlight. We used brown and blue paint and a big paintbrush called a mop.

Megan I thought it was very fun. I learned a lot about the moon. My whole class painted a tree of their own. I’d like to do my own because I have an idea – I can paint a fox in the moonlight.

Lily Now I know how to concentrate when painting and how to use watercolours. It was really fun because we all learnt about painting. I learnt how to do moons and when the moon is shining on something it has a shadow. My favourite moon was the wolf moon.

Euan I thought Rebecca was very good at painting with watercolours. I really liked her sketchbook of the moon and oak tree pictures. It was very fun, I think the whole class liked it as well. It got hard in some bits; it was hard not to scrub with the mop brush. I’d like her to come again soon. My favourite moon was the wolf moon.

Mia When Rebecca came she showed the year 3 and 4 how to do watercolour pictures. One of the brushes was called a mop.

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Willowcroft school create a winter forest

posted on December 9, 2009

A forest of colourful trees

The children in ‘Foxes’ class at Willowcroft Community School, Didcot have been painting and sculpting winter trees. Although the children have not yet seen the OneOak in the winter, they were inspired by the Oak Trees at their Forest School site. One tree in particular stood out as it was silhouetted in the afternoon sun against a wintery sky.

Back in school the children experimented with drawing inks and straws to depict the tree. For the background they used well diluted drawing ink to make the blue and pink of the sky.

Later in the week the children twisted aluminium modelling wire to create three dimensional trees. They then dipped the looped wire in ‘fantasy film’ which quickly hardened to create a beautiful stained glass effect. Even the least confident artists made beautiful trees and were really pleased with their work. They enjoyed themselves so much that they have now gone into ‘production mode’ and are making more trees to sell at our Children’s Christmas Fayre next week. We just hope everyone else likes them as much as we do!

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The big tree debate at Woodstock Primary

posted on December 7, 2009
The two sides: against and for

The two sides: against and for

As part of their literacy work this week, Year 3 and 4 pupils at Woodstock Primary School concentrated on persuasive arguments and debates. Today they held The BIG TREE DEBATE. Should the OneOak tree be felled?

Before the debate children were split into two groups – they then had to come up with reasons for or against in their groups (regardless of their personal view). A class debate was then held and then the children were asked to make a decision at the end based on their own views.

Should the OneOak tree be felled? The Result:


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